Consumption in the web of local and global relations of dominance and belonging

Authored by: Güliz Ger

Routledge Handbook on Consumption

Print publication date:  February  2017
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138939387
eBook ISBN: 9781315675015
Adobe ISBN: 9781317380900


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In this essay I reflect on how consumption serves to build and resolve tensions amplified by globalization and, its escort, neoliberal marketization, in the so-called emerging markets, in particular in Turkey. When scholars allude to “globalization,” or global consumer culture, there is typically an implicit opposition between the global versus the local. The foreign global is associated with change, modernity, novelty, innovation, commodification; the familiar local with tradition and stubbornly old or romantically authentic ways of life. In addition, there are internal tensions between, for example, the rural and the urban or the dominated and the dominant, which are impacted by transnational relations. Contrary to a position “that sees the local from the outside, as a place continuously impinged upon by and encapsulated within external forces” (Lambek, 2011, p. 200), I take the perspective of the local. I examine how the consumers in a locality experience their encounters with people, things, ideologies, and images global, within the structural enablers and disablers, and if and how their ways and patterns of consumption change or not; how they define and differentiate themselves from internal Others that emerge or become amplified with globalization. My deliberations are framed by two considerations: domination and affiliation dynamics in global-local and local-local relationships and the dialogue of change and continuity.

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